Since 2004, the Congress party is in government and Manmohan Singh
is the prime-minister but the world knows the real power lies with Sonia
Gandhi. So if we add these 8 years to the 38 years, we find that the country
has been under the rule of Nehru-Gandhi family for 46 years out of its 65 years
Lal Bahadur Shastri who was prime-minister from 1964-1966 after
Nehru’s death, though seen as a person of probity, was seen as a Nehru loyalist
and was chosen to corner Morarji Desai. At that time, Indira Gandhi was just
beginning her journey to the political centrestage of the country.
1991-1996, when PV Narasimha Rao was the prime-minister, there was
no one from the Nehru-Gandhi family to take the political centrestage of the
country so we cannot say it was the internal democracy of the Congress party
that chose Mr. Rao as the prime-minister of the country.
So, no true mass leader, not from the Nehru-Gandhi family or
independent of the patronage of Nehru-Gandhi family, could emerge in the Congress
party to reach to the political top when there was a name from the family in the
active politics and ‘circumstantially’ fit to take the prime-ministerial chair.
And still, it is the same old story.
Now do we call that an element of democracy Mr. Rahul Gandhi?
It is this culture of absolutely centralized political parties in India that has
marginalized the prime entity of a democracy in the country – which you, your
party and your prime minister of the moment call as the ‘aam aadmi’.
The giants that you speak of like Patel, Azad were the making of
the pre-Independence days. Why can’t the Congress party produce such giants in
the post-Independence phase who were (and who are) not from the Nehru-Gandhi
How can we say it a democratic decentralization of power?
Congress party has become a family where the authority has
narrowed down to the realm of the Gandhi clan (the Sonia family). Yes, everyone
can become member of this family, but the person needs to follow the dictum
that the ‘top’ is reserved for the Gandhi clan.
Manmohan Singh was never a prime-ministerial material and he was
chosen for being a yes-man. He has performed the assignment given to him
dutifully. There is no other political giant in the country from the Congress
party including you.
What separates you from others in your party is your inheritance,
the legacy of the Nehru-Gandhi family and the Gandhi surname.
There are many in your party and the larger political fraternity
who have spent decades in politics and yet are not seen as suitable
prime-ministerial material. How do you qualify with just 8 years in active
The fact is, there is no one in the Congress party qualified
enough to become the prime-minister of the country at the moment. The party
does need to focus on the leadership development but needs to reform the
When the political top is so centralized and narrowed down to very
few ‘political elite’, it is foolhardy to expect that an ‘aam aadmi’ would be
allowed to participated in the political process and grow in stature.
How should we read this element of contradiction in your speech
Mr. Rahul Gandhi?
The need is to have its unorthodox side, away from the Congress party
legacy, the upper hand but the ground reality favours the worn-out line.